2nd Sunday of Advent (B)


2nd Sunday of Advent (B) Mc. 1:1-8 – Dec. 04, 11

A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.“

Once a famous artist had painted a beautiful image of Jesus and had it in his workshop. It portrayed John the Baptist pointing with his finger to Jesus. The painter decided one day to donate his masterpiece to his parish church and took the portrait to the rectory, and when the grateful pastor saw how beautiful it was, asked the artist, “Why do you decide to bring such a great piece of art to our church?” The painter said, "Because I am that finger and I want each one of your parishioners feel like that finger also." Our reflection could be, "Do our lives point people to Christ? Or do they turn them away from Him?” It is a challenge to remember what Gandhi once said, "I would have become a Christian if ever I had met one.

We can summarize today´s John the Baptizer's message in one word, "Repent." In Mark 1:15, Jesus also preached, "Repent and believe in the Gospel. "John the Baptist appeared very austere, dressed in camel’s hair and had a leather belt. He did not dress like a Jewish priest. His diet was very simple to the point people thought that he was a mad. John the Baptist told people that they had to change. If we want to say that in contemporary words, there is going to be no more war, corruption, drug traffic, guerrilla and hijack; people need to be honest and to stop hating others. There should be justice, sharing and care for all; we all need to change.

Mark is an Evangelist who goes straight to the point. We read today the beginning of his Gospel, the Good News about Jesus, the Son of God. In only eight verses he gives us an important prophecy from the prophet Isaiah, fulfilled in John the Baptist: “A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” And in a short way he tells us the whole life of The Baptist.

Saint Mark in his Gospel tells us just the essentials. He does not go around the bushes, for he tells us it was all the people from Jerusalem who were baptized. In the next verse Mark recounts the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness and swiftly takes him into an account of Jesus’ public ministry.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: "When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." (Gal 4:4-5) This is "the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Mark 1:1) God has visited his people. He has fulfilled the promise he made to Abraham and his descendants. He acted far beyond all expectation - he has sent his own "beloved Son." (Mark 1:11) (CCC 422)

During this Advent we anticipate and celebrate what this season really means. Our liturgy and life help us to prepare ourselves anew to receive our Lord in the remembrance of his birth in a spiritual way as we hear John the Baptist telling us "Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path." We also prepare ourselves in faith for our encounter with the Lord at the end of times. We profess this in the Creed when we say: “For us all and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

In our preparation for Christmas do we try to listen carefully what John The Baptist teaches us turning indifference into justice, hatred into love, dishonesty into truth, and violence into peace, and showing Christ to others, not only pointing at him with our finger, but showing him with our life?

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